tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN August 5, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
cid. there are also counter intelligence experts who were there to make determinations and about whether there are our exposures that need to be accounted for. -- our exposures that need to be accounted for. >> in the report, there saying as far as afghanistan is concerned, pakistan is a may bode -- a major concern as far as security. you may have seen at the president's report that he said that the war in afghanistan is not winnable.
>> i think you saw in secretary clinton's trip a few months ago, an attempt to dispel some of the myths and the misinformation that contributes to this lack of trust. i think part of this, frankly, are due to some elements in pakistan and the media that feeds on this. this is good copy, and it insights and that might be good for sales. but it is not helpful to their security or our overall relationship. the state department report that you cite i am not aware of. the press -- that the president is questioning the when ability, we obviously disagree. if he really did say that the war is not winnable, we would not be fighting a war that we believe to be unwinnable.
no wonder i confused you. i confuse myself. the go-ahead. >> you're going to steal from barbara. >> something from wikileaks, they can't pull back something that is on the internet. every news organization, all kinds of other websites have taken the material into their own databases. as a functional matter, what you're asking them to do, is it even remotely possible? >> they have the ability to erase it from their web site and to return whatever is in their possession.
this is a very simple demand that can very easily be complied with. the second question, the other part of your question, it has been out there for a while and has been accessed by many other people. they are exploring it for journalistic or perhaps criminal purposes. obviously, that is another problem that we are dealing with. what we are addressing is what we believe to be the culprit here in terms of soliciting people -- classifying information illegally. this measure that i have announced here today is on them. it is not the exclusive focus of all of our efforts. that is what i am prepared to address here today. this is the step we are taking
at this moment. we don't preclude taking other measures as well. in light of this request that all of you have asked us so much about, they want our help in trying to conduct harmonization on the 15,000 documents they have yet to post. >> consider the news organizations that have taken these documents to be in possession of stolen property? >> the only rightful owner is the united states government. no one else has any legal reason, any reason at all to have that material. our focus at this point is on wikileaks, what they are doing
-- they are trying to get them to return other illegally obtained classified materials from the u.s. government. >> president karzai is visiting iran, is that something -- in something positive come from that? >> i am not aware of his travel schedule. he obviously lives in a neighborhood that includes iran and a neighbor to the west, a country that has had long, historical, economic ties. i don't think anybody at this building has an issue with him engaging with his neighbors, it
might lead to greater stability in the region and as long as they done to undermine our efforts to try to bring back stability to the region. >> the chinese missile, do you know anything about that? is the u.s. military concerned about such a weapon? >> mike, if any of you attended press conferences or engagements, the speeches that the secretary of defense gave over the last few years over the issue of title -- issue of china, he has [unintelligible] including those developed by china that cause us some concern. we have spoken publicly for a long, long time. they have to factor into our calculus on how we build a force
for the future and how we project force around the world effectively in the future to protect our interests. we are well aware of this program. at least the past few years, i don't think there is anything new. it seems to me that another in a series of features. i don't think there is anything particularly newsworthy in it. >> about the air force tanker bid, the aerospace company, you may clear -- they purposely delayed the messenger that was carrying the bid to the air force base. is the department at all concerned that their appeal of
this non-consideration of their bid will further delay the competition, and how you address their claim? is it for political reasons? >> to the first part of the question, are we concerned about their protests that it might lead to a delay? i don't believe so. i will preface what i'm about to say by urging you to speak to the united states air force about this. they are the entity within this department that will be procuring these tankers. they are in charge of this competition, they are best equipped to speak to it. you made some pretty strong -- repeated some pretty strong allegations by the company. the notion that any united
states military personnel deliberately impeded their ability to deliver a bid for this competition is absolutely absurd. listen. the other companies that bid on this went to great measures to ensure that their bid and arrived at the prescribed time of 2:00 p.m. on july 9 at the air force base. the first company to arrive was eads. they flew in the day before. and i think this is par for the course, they also drove it there in case there were other problems or there had been a plane crash to make sure that they were considered by the united states air force. i think boeing had their bid at 9:00 in the morning, five hours
before it was due. i don't know the precise chronology of this other company's attempted bid. the bottom line is, they didn't make it in time. there are very strict contract in rules that the federal government has on the books that preclude us from even considering bids that do not arrive by the prescribed time. our hands are tied here. any professional contractor understands how hard and fast these deadlines are, and go to extraordinary measures in order to ensure that there there well before those deadlines. as i said yesterday, this is a $30 billion-$40 billion contract. this is not a high school homework assignment. these deadlines count and any professional contractor
understand that. >> the selection process has not been stopped -- >> absolutely not. we will award the contract in the fall as we always said we would. tony, this contract -- we have been trying to replace these tankers 43, 4, 5 years now. 10 years before my time. in may, we put up the solicitation offer, at the request for proposals. that was a 60-day window. we took the extraordinary measure of extending that window by another 60 days. there were 120 days in which anyone could have submitted a bid for consideration. a couple of companies made it, a third did not. there was ample time for people to input a bit if they were competing for the contract.
>> was there sufficient time -- >> i can't tell you that. we can review their proposal by law. it did not arrive in time. we cannot consider it or review it. are you on this? >> just on pakistan, can you update us on whenever you've got? can you also characterized how welcome is american assistance in pakistan? is it an issue politically? to what degree do they accept aid? >> i don't think that is a hurdle for our contributions. there has been a request made of the united states government for assistance in the aftermath of this tragic situation and i think the estimates are now 1500
dead. public opinion of america in pakistan was at an all-time high in the aftermath of our assistance in the wake of the tragic earthquake a few years ago. this is about fighting, we do a great deal of humanitarian work around the world. we do a great deal to try to showcase that and try to be helpful. there are six u.s. helicopters, these aircraft on august 5 which
was, what? yesterday? today? today in pakistan, they flew 18 sorties, transferring relief supplies and evacuate 800 people from flood infected areas. i think as of yesterday, we have delivered nearly 437,000 ready to eat meals. we are working with pakistan to assess if additional support is required. we are even beginning the process of potentially posturing forces to be able to provide that help if it is deemed necessary. this is a little that -- it is a little bit difficult because on
one hand, we desire to be as helpful as possible. we will go to extraordinary measures to provide help if it is needed. the assets that have been deployed thus far are being taken from operations in afghanistan. we can do that for some time, but ultimately, there are required for combat. we are trying to look at how to, if we are needed over an extended period of time, how to not adversely impact operations. we will find a way to balance both needs, but that is what we are working on right now. goingt know if it means to come back and command, but we are working on it. i don't have any more for you beyond that. >> allowed to know wyatt michael hasting's request was pulled
back, and from where did that decision come? was it 8 decision from 101st, where did it originate from? >> this is of interest to you. are you riding on the subject? -- writing on the subject? the best people to direct this question too would be the public affairs books -- folks. they're the ones handling the situation. i am not try to distance myself from their decision. we completely support their decision. but this was their decision. but remember what this process was all about.
this is not a right, it is a privilege based upon a central trusting relationship between a unit commander, and if there is not that trust, the reporter has the potential to adversely impact operations, the well- being of the forces within that unit. so we in power unit commanders. when you say you want to embed somewhere, you make a request for a particular unit. that commander says i want cavan, or i don't want kevin. when he says he is going to abide by rules, he does, he is a positive influence and will not in any way undermine cohesion, morale, or distract from the operations we have to conduct. and with your blessing, the public affairs office will
proceed with facilitating that embedding situation. that is where this begins. in this case, i think the public affairs group made a determination that in light of how he conducted himself on a previous engagement with their command, they did not trust him to do as he says he would do. they did not trust him to respect the ground rules that have to be set in situations like this, and they told him that they are going to revoke the invitation that had been extended to him to a bed with the unit he had requested. i don't think anybody back here had any problem with their decision. we're completely understanding of the apprehension they would have about authorizing this reporter to embed was one of their units in light of the problems they had with him on a
recent engagement in which ground rules, according to the public affairs shop, were not respected. the results are obvious to all of us. they have the authority to make those decisions, and they are completely supported by us back here. >> my problem with what you're saying is that it was a previous engagement, and my understanding was that the military can decide to deny the request based on a lot of reasons. his time was not related to any of his previous work. he had done years of work. if it is trustworthiness, were commanding it's given the option to accept it? is this done at a political level?
>> are there any politicians in ithere? this is what is in the best interest of the mission they were tasked with executing and the unit's at which he would be embedded. is so hard tohat understand here. if you don't respect ground rules, how do you expect them to trust you? how do you expect us to extend the privileges? there are lives on the line. it is cohesion, morale, military effectiveness that depends on all of the parts, all the people that are part of this team, including visitors playing by the rules and getting along, being untrustworthy. not violating the rules that
govern the engagements. based upon his previous engagement with this command, he showed himself not to be trustworthy, not to be credible. they made a judgment that they were not going to partner with him again. they were not going to extend the privilege to embed with one of the and it's again. he has not been blackballed by this command. he has the right to apply for another opportunity. i must tell you that if we are to give the unit commanders the ability to make judgments on who they want in their unit, and we believe that is important, it should come as no surprise to anybody if unit commanders in afghanistan are apprehensive about doing work with this reporter in light of the previous experience that their commander had with this reporter. i don't know why that would be surprising or unreasonable to
anybody. you are only as good as your word. they don't believe his word is worth much. >> wikileaks has posted an encrypted file that is 40 times larger than the original posted. is the defense department going to try to find out what is in this file? >> i will not speak to those types of things. he has been patient. >> the final statement was released and suggests the relocation by 2014 is not sustainable because of the deficiency of the infrastructure. what is the current standpoint of you on this issue? >> i have no developments in
that respect to share with you. i don't believe there has been a change of fundamental position on this. if there is a change, i will get to you. tbs. turner broadcasting company. >> tokyo. the question on the university, as anyone from this building joining? >> i don't know, we can certainly check on that. >> it is the first time the let -- u.s. delegation is going. >> that is news to me. thank you for bringing it to our attention. >> the ongoing exercises in south korea, the response to the south korean military exercises?
>> north korea has claimed they will conduct a counter-attack? i don't see any reason they would possibly have for conducting any such attack. these are exercises that they have said time and time again are defensive in nature. they should not feel in any way threatened by these exercises. it is clear that further military action will not be tolerated. this is designed to not only make sure that we are operating at maximum capability together, but to deter them from taking military action. this first wave of exercises, the first sequence of exercises has come and gone.
we are right now in the process of starting the annual exercise that takes place between our two militaries. we are obviously planning and other maritime and air exercises between the military's as part of the sequence we have talked about before. it will be taking place in both the east and west, the sea of japan, the yellow sea. they will once again involve the uss george washington, and it will exercise in the yellow sea. there are dates where this exercise involves the aircraft carrier will take place.
that is the return of exercising in the yellow sea. it will take place over the next several months. a pet? -- ok? i think we are conducting an anti-submarine exercises. we are conducting bombing exercises, some soft exercises, a slew of exercises. there are show of force exercises as well. we're going to hit all of the various kinds of exercises to conduct. the key so much, guys. -- thank you so much, guys. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> now detainee's in
afghanistan, robert hayward talks about transferring responsibility to the afghan military. admiral hayward is joined by the ambassador who announced to be serving as an adviser to the afghan attorney-general. this is about half an hour. >> all right, gentlemen. good morning in a good evening in kabul. i like to open the commander of the task force. he assumes his duties -- assumed his duties last year. the joint task force for 35 is responsible for rule of law efforts in afghanistan.
the admiral is joined today by the ambassador who was recently appointed coordinating director of law enforcement. at this point, you make some very brief comments. and then the ambassador will take your questions. with that, admiral, i sent it over to you. >> good morning. but he clarify a couple of things he said. when we assumed the mission in january, we just set up the new detention facility. we had just transferred all of closedainee's, and we the facility. our first focus was to ensure that the perception of u.s. detention operations was in line with the reality of what we did.
during that, we made all of our operations open and transparent. through keyholes cycle, and even -- if any individual detained, their families and district leaders. and our review boards, we opened up to the afghan public. we now have citizens testifying at the military tribunal. the release process is completely run by the government, no u.s. participation -- [inaudible] our priority at this point is to transition the u.s. detention
facilities and operations to the government of afghanistan. there are 400 corrections officers at our facility, and in fact, 126 of them are inside the facility conducting duties at this time. those facilities in january 2011 will complete that as quickly as possible no later than january 2012, all of which will be condition based. let me bring you up to speed on our current evolution. by joint task force was a combined interagency task force. in that role, i will support the rule of law and law enforcement
correction efforts led by my new partner. i will turn it over to the ambassador before we take any questions. >> if i can just supplement your opening remarks a little bit. it was decided in the spring of this year, a decision that was reached by general petraeus, and ambassador holbrooke, the rule of law area was lacking. it was decided at that point to join the interagency task force and put in place a new position at the embassy in kabul to oversee all rule of law and
anti-corruption activities. they got a call in late march as a senior adviser on this very important task. i was very honored and grateful to receive that invitation. i arrived just over a month ago. my work has largely been focused on a joint project to stand up this interagency task force that will, on a new platform by the military and civilian agencies out there, it will allow us to better focus and concentrate, be better in line with afghan goals.
it is a pleasure to be with you this morning and i look forward to your questions. >> the anti-corruption taskforce, what president karzai got upset over yesterday, it included the financing of insurgents operations. can you tell us what information that you routinely seek from suspected insurgents about the source of their money and what they intend to do with it? give exactlynt to the information we're after, but we talk with individuals who have obtained information to identify soldiers, and all other
connections that we have. understand our functions here in afghanistan. >> are you receiving enough of that information as part of the interview process? or are you trying to get more? >> we use all methods of intelligence to gather information. we have access to a large population and we can spend a lot of time talking to indicating more fidelity of all of those systems and individuals. >> when we last spoke i was with the l.a. times, but i moved over to the wall street journal. questions on the reconciliation
issue, is that going at the spd wants to see it? -- speed you want to see it? do you want to sort of speed that up? what do you think will happen once the transition happens at the end of the year with that process? will it continue to go smoothly? what is the prospect for that in the future? >> good to hear from you. i may have come a far distance, but there is a focus of everyone here today. some of the other players bring on a larger strategic program. our efforts have been at the tactical level.
we have the families, a village leaders, the government coming to tell this at the review boards. we are sure that the individual signs -- there is family, district, definitely leaders. we have created a process that i think becomes a good model of strategic reintegration. that first meeting where we called back everyone, there were 50 of the first hundred. those questions were instrumental in ensuring that the district leaders had an informal system to look after those individuals. we think that it bodes well for the future. just as he said, they are going
to be models for the afghan system in the future. we're looking at how we're going to do that, not only systematically, but financially. we think that some of the money allocated by donations is a good venue for that. we're working through all of those things right now, and i will have a better picture for you in about three months. another component of that we have added as part of the peace and reconciliation program. those individuals that reconcile, that is a very powerful tool. we have that system coming online right now. we are supportive in that
endeavor. >> can you tell us about any plans under way about u.s. control and possibly detained some prisoners that were arrested outside of afghanistan there? >> that is another great question. we designed all the facilities with the government of afghanistan. those individuals -- our first preferences are to repatriate.
as you are aware, we have conducted our first afghan trials. we have prosecuted seven individuals already. we're building additional capacity to do that. our goal is to address those individuals during the transition period. >> do you keep some of them under u.s. control? >> our preference would be not to. i did not rule that out as an option, but i will tell you, president karzai is focused on exercising sovereignty. we want to honor that commitment.
but we are partners and we will act on behalf as we go through this transition. >> my question is that there is something going on in the arab world or in the muslim world, especially in afghanistan. what do they think about your presence there? >> let me tell you two things. they were all at the detention facility this week, we were all impressed by the facilities. i will also tell you of those
individuals released this year, they said they were treated well. they were hydrated and that medical care. one individual, although i would not want to be competing with them, they said they preferred our facility. that is our goal, to make sure that people understand what happens in u.s. detention operations. but that all enjoy their freedom. i will also tell you that we have seen a very low recidivism rate. it is helpful to ensure that individuals do not return to the fight.
from what i have seen, the individuals that go through the facility, it is very positive. >> i didn't quite catch the question. >> your presence in afghanistan, [unintelligible] >> the perceptions, the muslim world of us here in afghanistan. >> that is a very broad question. sitting here in kabul, there is a larger representation of countries, and there is a major international conference which a number of islamic countries
together with other western countries and japan, china and others all pledged to support the further development of afghanistan and bring the uncertainty to an end and provide security for the afghan citizens. >> general, do they believe you more now than the taliban? they say the taliban is better than the international comm unity to do more for afghanistan. are those feelings gone?
>> i apologize, i am not getting all of your question. are you asking about the presence in terms of the international community? >> how do they feel about you and the talent -- taliban? >> i just don't understand the question. i just heard us and the taliban. >> the view of the afghan public in general about the u.s. and coalition forces, and that as opposed to how the locals view the taliban, has that shifted over the time they have been there? >> i have to go back with what
we're doing in detention operations. i think that when i first came here in 1971 and hitchhiked across the country, because i was american, they wanted to talk to me and understand about our country. the people here are no different than that. adding some individuals who have not come into contact with americans have a negative experience and are more liable to respond to the taliban message. it is important that we make the perception match reality. i think there are broader rule of law efforts as well. >> the polling consistently shows there is very little
public support for the taliban. there is support for the government and the partnership of the united states and the effort to bring an end to the insurgency. >> i wanted to follow up on a question of nationals in custody. can you tell us how many the you have in custody in the basic idea of how significant that population is, the general idea where they come from? >> i can't give you the exact number, but less than 75% come from pakistan.
>> thanks. >> they're very local sites. >> like my colleague who you heard from to start off, i am also with the associated press. i had some questions from the human rights lawyers i am speaking to. in terms of what you mentioned, when does transparency start in terms of the cycle? does it apply to the field? how long can we be detained -- can they be detained on the battlefield before being transferred to the facility? do these rules of conduct apply also to the national operating forces in those areas?
>> great question. yes, the individuals detained on the battlefield operating have 96 hours before they have to be either released or turn them over. there are caveats, the united states has a national caveat. they can detain an individual up to 14 days. during that time, if they determine that the individual is involved with the coalition forces, they said that a transfer request to us detailing why they believe that. if we accept them into our facility, at the 60 day point,
he goes in front of the detainee review board. the first 24 hours, his family, the government of afghanistan -- when he is brought into the detention facility, they are told about that. they keep those reports every day. at the detainee review board, it is open to the public and open the human rights groups. those standards are applied across u.s. forces. >> do you have any idea of the census, the size of the population being detained that long and how many facilities
across afghanistan that might be in effect? >> i know exactly how much, i track each and every one of them. we did not disclose their location, but i track, i am responsible for the standard of each of those detention sites. i track to is in them every day, i tracked to hear it -- make sure they here to the 14 day guidelines. each and every individual detained in afghanistan. >> does that mean it can take up to 14 days for the government of afghanistan and the families to be informed of their loved ones dissension? >> no. the government of afghanistan is
in formed with a the first 24 hours. their ability to contact the family, they may live in the far out areas, so it usually goes to the governor or the central directors. any part of the bureaucracy that can inform the family. it has been pretty effective. i think that word trickles down with of the first 24 or 48 hours. but i can't verify each and every case of that. when you have a kid, 20 or 30 family members show up, it is pretty impressive. and their ability to move
throughout the country even though some of the infrastructures are difficult. >> the first 24 hours after they arrive at par 1. >> the first 24 hours when they are detained in-country. general mcchrystal and petraeus signed out a tactical directive that any afghans as an detained is required to inform the government of afghanistan within 24 hours. [unintelligible] >> thank you. >> admiral, on your reintegrations so far, have you seen a difference between fighters affiliated -- is
easier to get one group or the other group reintegrated? there is rumors that the network is more of an irreconcilable force. is there a difference at the tactical level? >> we are not concerned about, but we have had happen on occasion -- there have been some that have been in fear of their life and did not want to be released to the public process. we have a private ceremony involving these individuals. there is greater rest -- risk, but so far, no. no differentiation other than
that at this point. >> folks from the east, are they in fear? >> again, i want to be pretty specific on this. a lot of the individuals we detained [unintelligible] we try to determine that from our intelligence, our discussions with them. it is the trickle to confirm his allegiance. through the process, they determined that this individual -- we release them. >> just a practical question,
you mentioned a pledge for outgoing detainee's. can you clarify how this is enforced? >> can you say that once more, please? >> it had something to do with the pledge that the outgoing detainee's are required to make. >> can imagine how that pledges enforced? -- can you mention how that pledge is in force? -- enforced? >> this was created by the government of afghanistan, they sign a pledge that they will not return to the fight. the provincial leadership gets that. what it has allowed us to do is maintain with that hold informal network.
enforcement might not be the right term. we determine when we first tried to call back, all of them showed up. they were well received by their villages. now that we're up to 200 released, we will see after ramadan, the effectiveness of that program and that pledge there is -- and that pledge. the young man that relates to his mother and father, the mother said she would take his legs off if he ever did that again. we are trying to check that informal network to make sure these individuals don't return
to the fight for the wrong reasons. >> one more. >> it is a local fight going on there, but if forces were to capture osama bin laden, where would you keep them? >> i guess it would determine where we capture them. it is part of the process. again, that is hypothetical. we will see when we cross that bridge. >> it is a hypothetical, or are there plans in place? >> do we have policy in place for that right now?
i did not understand the question. >> as you suggested, yes. if he was captioned in afghanistan now, -- captured in afghanistan now, are their policies in place? >> i don't want to be hypothetical on that, a lot of people would be interested in that strategic decision. we have a world-class facility here and we can incarcerate anyone. just standard -- that is all i can tell you. we can see if we can cross that bridge.
>> thank you again for your time. i send it back to you for any remarks you like to make. >> closing remarks? >> in addition to the work on detainee policy, his work on biometrics -- the entire scope is growing rapidly to cover the entire rule of law area. the importance the united states is placing on this to get the policy right, the biometrics right, and do a better and more effective job in supporting the afghan government in its delivery of there, transparent,
and efficient justice for its people is represented by the fact that [unintelligible] in a combined effort to improve the delivery of our service assistance to the afghan government. >> i would add we are committed with all our resources and capabilities to support the ambassador and his rule of law law-enforcement efforts. >> gentlemen, thank you again from the pentagon. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> this afternoon, the senate confirmed elena kagan as an associate justice of the supreme court. the vote was 63 to 37. five republicans joined democrats and independents to
support the nomination. a democrat from nebraska voted against. the 50 year-old new yorker will be the court's youngest justice. she will be sworn in by john roberts at 2:00 p.m. this saturday, august 7, at the supreme court. check out our taken hubbub -- our kagan hub at c- span.org/kagan. >> c-span programming -- politics, books, history -- is available anytime on c-span and radio, nationwide on serious satellite radio channel 132, and on-line around the world at c- span.org. listen to us on your phone up to a partnership with audio now.
c-span radio is available any time. just call the number on your screen. it is free, but check with your phone service provider for additional charges. c-span radio -- even more available on your phone. >> retired coast guard admiral thad allen has been heading up the federal effort to clean up the oil spill in the gulf of mexico. he joined us on "washington journal" to talk about his job and the situation in the gulf. this is about 45 minutes. host: that alan here to talk about the latest on the oil spill. we have seen reports of this plugging of the hole with cement. what is happening? guest: we completed the static kill, filling the well with mud. now we have to fill it with cement. we looked at the pressure reading to make sure we
understood the conditions of the well. the technical issue we were dealing with was where is the drill pipe. nobody is sure. there is a consensus between our science team and bp engineers that it is suspended from the blowout preventer. that affects how you put the cement in. host: what is the drill pipe? guest: 1 blowout preventer partially closed, it held the drill pipe in place. if you are going to fill the well, you need to know where that type is. that is not the final step. that is as much as we can do from the top down. we pretty much removed any chance it would never release into the environment. we also have to finish the relief well, drilling in from the bottom, fill that and the other remaining areas with mud and cement. >host: how long will it take,
this work for the relief well? guest: the cement will probably take a day. then another seven days to finish the relief well. host: at that point? then what? guest: there is a lot of oil in the marshes of louisiana. there is oil on the beaches of mississippi and alabama. a lot of work to do. do. host: how many weeks, months, do you suspect you and others will be down there? guest: well, we'll have some kind of response capacity for a long time. i think we'll see oil come to the shore. in the spring we'll see it surface again. we need some mechanism. they could be grooming the beaches in the panhandle of florida next spring. and with a front-end loader find some buried oil, we need to have a plan. host: how long do you plan to stay in this position, do you think? guest: good question.
we have a position where the well will be killed. i think we need to talk about next how to get a response, framework set up, to allow us to be responsible in some of the wetlands and marsh lands down there. sometime in the future we'll have a conversation. right now i want to make sure that number one the people in the gulf and the united states understand that we're committed for long-term recovery, that we'll make sure all the oil is cleaned up and hold b.p. accountable. that's on the near term. host: it sounds like if there's a transition made to what you're talking about you wouldn't be in charge of that? guest: will of it will have to be the report that will go to the president. it goes way beyond the current spill, ecological issues. there will be a transition to a new long-term recovery organization. those discussions are going on right now in the administration. host: you say when you go on vacation that's when the oil has stopped spilling. do you have a vacation planned? guest: i had one planned but that's been put off. host: do you know when you'll
take it? guest: i think the american people want me to focus on the task at hand. host: what's your biggest concern going forward today? guest: well, we want to kill the well. we want to make sure 100% -- make it 100% sure that no oil leaks into the gulf. we don't want that to happen. we'll have to continue to do seismic testing to monitor the well. i think there will be a high degree of probability that the well won't be a problem in the future. for the local fishermen, local oystermen, it does have an impact on them down there. we need to get the fishery areas reopened. doing a lot of work with noaa in that regard. we need to start moving forward and get them back. host: and health concerns, are you concerned about the use of dispersents? people close association to this oil and the impact that could have on people's health. guest: i'm not sure the dispersents are a direct threat to public health because they
were used offshore. i think we can have a question about dispersents and how it is used and the impact on the environment. we've done air and water monitoring. actually the e.p.a. and noaa have. use of dispersents offshore is something we need to talk about in conjunction with skimming. and how we might want to handle a big spill in the future. host: ok. this is front page of "the times-picayune." 26% of the oil still in the gulf but white house report is met with skepticism. why should the american people believe noaa when they were wrong on the initial amounts of oil that was spilling out of this oil well? guest: well, i was talking to a guy in new orleans this morning. if you don't have a problem it's a problem? if you don't have a problem it's a problem. we've been trying to zero in on the flow rate and what are the implications of the oil. and every time we get better information we are going to put that out. noaa has been working very
closely with the u.s. geological survey. and marsha mcnut, we take the best numbers we have. we continue to refine them. when we have them we should put them out there and subject to transparency and public debate. it's good. host: is it early to come out and say only 20% -- 26% of oil remains when you don't know how much has been broken up, where this oil is, that more could come to shore? guest: those are fair question. maybe i can take you through a process. the question is how much oil is coming out. there is some very low estimates. they're really challenging everybody's credibility moving forward. then we got some folks together on the government side, scientists. we came up with two ranges. one was 19,000 to 20,000 barrels a day. when we cut the riser pipe we adjusted that to 60,000. we're stpwhrouring in around 53,000 on average over the life of the spill. when you get that close you can extrapolate that to the total of oil.
when you get the total of oil you say where to go? we know we captured some, we know we burned some and skimmed some. what's left is the 26%. guest: this is the -- host: this is the chart shown yesterday. how much oil has been evaporated or dissolved and burned off, skimmed off, etc. we take a look at this. dan on the democratic line in waterbury, connecticut. you're up first for admiral thad allen. caller: yes, good morning. i have two questions. the first question is on the media blackout and the $40,000 fine for journalists. how does that impead on the first amendment right for free press to free journalism? as a scientist he has been stuzzying the must ain bubble under the drill pipe. thank you. -- studying the main bubble under the drill pipe.
thank you. guest: there was not a media blackout. we had things being vandlized or stolen. we needed a way to enforce law against people who are doing that. it's not like you have a no parking zone unless you call it a no parking zone. we say if you come within a certain area of the boom you're not supposed to be there. we will declare a zone around that. if you're around that we can enforce criminal penalties. we came up with the press where allowed them to go where they needed to. there was never a blackout. and regarding the bubble, there is no report that a methane bubble is below. host: let me let everybody know in the gulf coast we have a special line set aside for folks. that's 202-628-0184. go ahead, oscar. caller: good morning. this is hilarious. this is funny, ok. i mean, real funny.
i filed for unemployment. now i'm on radio, right? this is not why i called. i was put on hold. host: you are on dustin. democratic line. caller: good morning, mr. allen. i called to say i've been observing the way you performed in your duties with regards to this spill. i want to say that i think you're a great american and you always answer the questions. that's a great quality. just want to say that i've appreciated your service to this country and in this great moment where we needed great leadership. i hope that you the -- the
person who takes control to have the same qualities i know will be hard to fine. i want to say thank you and keep up the good work and make us whole again. host: can you tell us what it's been like for you? guest: i appreciate the comment. my goal throughout this entire response has been to create unit of effort. when people talk to me about what we're doing and what we're not doing, i have to tell them i am the national incident commander. i'm not the republican, democrat or b.p. national incident commander. my board of directors are the american people. what i'm trying to do is bring everybody together and create solutions because everybody has to be at the table and there are a lot of passions. a lot of people are frustrated and a lot of people are angry. i think my job is to kind of work through that and get us to someplace where we can make progress. host: so if you could talk about your day-to-back activities. how many times are you getting
phone calls from senators or officials at the white house or governors? guest: i think it's all of the above. i spent a lot of time talking with b.p. officials. i spent a lot of time talking to our engineers in houston working with the b.p. engineers. i spend a lot of people from the gulf coast. one third is spent in the gulf coast. the other time is meeting with officials, briefing cabinet secretaries. almost every part of government is being touched by this. i'll be meeting with the secretary of agriculture on issues they have related to the spill. host: and what are you talking about? guest: mediation and maybe we can use some agricultural product to help combat oil up in the marshes. you will be surprised where the tentacles of this spill go in government. host: next phone call. tim from new sweden, maine, on the independent line. go ahead, tim. caller: my question is, i would like to know how much oil is being pumped out of the gulf of mexico from all the oil companies? and this week it was 50,000 barrels a day.
if you took just 2,000 wells out of the 40 that equals 100 million barrels a day capacity and nobody, no politicians or nobody in the news media has asked that question, how much oil is oil companies, not just b.p., but all the oil companies pumping out of the gulf of mexico? host: admiral, do you know the answer to that? guest: no. it's not down my line of expertise. obviously there are a lot of wells out there. i will make a comment, though. i get asked a lot about the moratorium and things like that. i try to keep the policy issues associated with them, and there are significant issues, i try to keep them separate from the response. there will be a much larger discussion about all these issues. but i think the american public probably expect me to focus on the operational task at hand and that's what i tried to do. host: have you tried to keep tabs on the other wells around the one that's been spilling oil?
guest: we have had for a couple of reasons. one of them is a personal safety reason. when we had a lot of oil on the surface, not only around the site where we were working, but rigs that were closer by, we have the -- we have the chance that we could have organic compounds. those are the fuels that basically come up from the oil that actually create a risk to human health. it's required us to actually suppress some of the vapors around. they actually stopped -- early on they stopped work on surrounding rigs. that's the threat. host: mobile, alabama. david. you're on the air. caller: yes. admiral, i'd like to know how much money did you take from b.p. to sell your soul to them because they used you to manipulate and lie and minor dispersents that you used, that's where the oil is? i've seen it with my own eyes. why don't you sit there and tell the american people the truth instead of trying to manipulate the fact? host: david, where are you seeing the dispersents used? caller: when we were on the
opportunity used we saw it sprayed firsthand. they'd quit burning it and go out there and dispersent and spray the hell out of it. they even sprayed some of my friends on shrimp boats when the plane moved over. the admiral knows about it but he won't tell the american people. guest: the first question is zero regarding the compensation. the answer to the second question, let's talk about dispersents because i know it's an emotional issue with a lot of folks. following the exxon valdez, there was a law passed called the oil pollution act of 1990. in there there was a provision for what they call alternative technologies. this was very novel back in 1990. and the law directed that we look at two things. dispersents as a way to attack oil spills early on. those were situations during the exxon valdez. they were pretty slow to act and lost a window in order to
act. during the 1990's, protocols were negotiated completely around the country. i did that when i was captain for port of long island sound. i had to say if you use the burning or dispersents, when and how are you going to use them, where, what kind of things do we need to take in regards to wildlife, etc.? what can we do without any further consultation because of the speed of the response? when we got into this response, those protocols were in effect and we started using dispersents and burning and skimming. but what happened was we never had a spill this big and we've never been in position to require so much dispersent to be used. on the 25th of may the coast guard sat down with e.p.a. and said this thing is starting to really get large and the amount that's being applied. there needs to be some different protocalls. working with lisa jackson with
e.p.a., we reduced it by 75%. host: that's a lot. guest: when the cap was put on we achieved 72%. now, granting exceptions. when there's large quantity of oil there and we weren't able to skim it or burn it and we knew it would be in the marshes or someplace, then we went out and used dispersents on it. when this is over we have to look at burning, skimming and dispersents and have a very dispassionate argument about this of when will we use these things. dess percentents are legal, -- dispersents are legal, they're allowed by e.p.a. we need to address it. host: does it concern you since you reduced it by that much, 72%, there could be some long-term effects by using as much dispersent as you did? guest: well, we don't know. we've never used dispersents in this quantity before. that was the issue. i probably talk almost daily about this with lisa jackson from e.p.a. it's a leadership issue.
it's an issue with the public. i believe -- host: what do you mean it's a leadership issue? guest: well, she runs e.p.a. on. -- and i'm the national incident commander. if we're going to deviate from the protocalls that on the national contingency plan she and i need to talk about that. what we've done is put e.p.a. folks down into the region so we're not using dispersents now because the well is being capped. starting on the 22nd of june, a decision was made about the dispersents. e.p.a. was with us. host: thanks for waiting, kevin. caller: thank you. good morning, admiral. guest: good morning. caller: thank you for your service, by the way. i wonder if you could briefly just relay your personal experience. i ask that because this has come at an interesting time in your life. and just tell folks briefly about how you feel about what has happened, katrina and i'm really thinking this has been a
very interesting time of your life. thank you. guest: you're right, it has been. i was set to be relieved as the commandant of the coast guard in may and retire after the first of july. my wife and i were going to take a vacation. this happened when all the leadership changes were happening in the coast guard. i never anticipated that an event like this would come up in my life. but frankly i didn't anticipate that hurricane hurricane would happen and the last -- hurricane katrina would happen and the last administration would ask me to go down and help there. i had a long conversation with my wife. obviously this is a significant impact. i always told me throughout my life that leadership is the able to reconcile competency. and there is certain times when you ask to do something even when it's very difficult it's hard to say no. my wife and i sat down and talked about it and we thought this was a fitting thing for me to do and i should do this for the country. host: next call, robert on the independent line from hartsville, indiana. caller: yes, hello. thank you very much for your service from c-span.
y'all do a wonderful job. commander allen, i also want to thank you for your dedicated service to your country. i just have a few questions concerning, one, the dispersents. i hear all the time on the media, some say there's going to be tremendous damage by the -- not only the oil but the dispersents and then you hear others say, no, it doesn't show there's going to be any long-term effects. excuse me. i don't understand how they think that anytime a chemical introduced into the food chain that we will consume if the dess percentents -- dess percentents call a -- dispersents causes a fish to get cancer and it passes on to the human, then that's just total debacle and catastrophe. second of all, i think it could be agreed upon by all parties
that if someone has not got the capability onhand at the present time to deal with the worst-case scenario then they don't need to be doing whatever activity that they planned on doing. host: admiral. guest: those are both very good questions. and in fact just this week e.p.a. released some results of a study where they intermixed oil from the mccondo well with dispersents and saw an increase of toxicity and found out there was none. dispersents, where there is some toxicity level is less toxic in the oil. we know that oil biodegrades over time as does dispersents. what we don't know what are the long-term implications. i think there will be studies done for a long time. we are looking at the implications of dispersents in seafood. as one said in a press briefing with me yesterday, fish, large
fish, have the opportunity to me tab lies and pass through. -- metabolize and pass through the system. it's not the case with small lamba and juvenile cree -- larvae and juvenile creatures out there. there are some other types of seafood, oysters and crabs and so forth there is a different impact because of their metabolic rate. that's the reason we thought at this point it was better to take a measured approach with the use of dispersents. they are legal, there's no ban to using them by regulation or statute, but lisa jackson and i thought it was prudent to take the course of action we did. host: tampa, florida, jeff. go ahead. jeff, you're on the air. go ahead with your commept or question. all right. jeff, i'm going to put you on hold. guest: i didn't answer the second question. he asked about the response. host: go ahead. guest: he raised a very good
question. a lot of people are going to be talking for a long, long time about whether or not the right response system was in place. the response system we have in this country right now is largely created through the oil pollution act of 1990 which created something called the national contingency plan. and that somebody that lived through that period of time and actually worked out on the field to complement -- implement it, it was tanker event. from the late 1980's to mid 1990's we saw a movement of oil offshore in the gulf of mexico. we saw a movement away from fixed drilling rigs to floating drilling rigs where all the controls of the rig were moved to the bottom of the ocean. we had a technology march offshore. all of our regulatory issues related to oil spill, response and control, we're looking at tanker type events. as we take a look at the response system moving forward we are going to have to adjust this because i think the technology got ahead of the regulatory framework.
host: the previous caller brought up the whole seafood and whether or not the impact in that area, is there a long-term impact that the government's not quite sure what it's going to be yet and as you said they have to continue to study it. there are restaurants across the country that are canceling their orders for gulf coast seafood because their customers don't want to eat that. right now would you say that the seafood coming out of there is safe? would you eat it? guest: yes. the seafood coming out of the gulf right now is probably the most tested seafood in the history of this nation. combination of partnership between noaa and the f.d.a. noaa's responsible for what happens in the water. f.d.a. is responsible for the safety of the food chain outside the water. there's a rigorous, rigorous testing protocol that's in place right now. that's in conjunction with local states and consorting with labs across the country. and they are trying to continually test the areas that are closed right now. as soon as they can open them to open them. but i can assure the american
public, and i'm speaking on behalf of noaa, the administer of the f.d.a. and the administration if it's been certified and checked. if it's from the gulf it's probably been checked nor rigorously than any other seafood in the country. host: jeff from tampa. caller: thank you, both. admiral, thank you very much. you've been a great voice and it's been a wonder to have somebody with us with so much knowledge. it's been outstanding. i watched a lot of the press conferences. thank you, again. out of curiousity, i heard a lot of verbal assurances from b.p. have you seen any evidence in writing that proves that b.p. is going to be here for the long haul should things pop up, like you said, next spring or god forbid a year or two or so on down the road? obviously i have to commend b.p. because i don't think that we had the same level of response from exxon 20 years
ago, but at the same time it would still be nice to have something beyond than, yes, we'll be here in the future. guest: i guess the phrase would be trust but verify. i can tell you early on the administration sent letter to b.p. saying they expected them to meet all the requirements even if we exceeded the legal limits of liability. b.p. responded and said that they would. they paid over $300 million in personal claims so far and they're continuing to work on the claims process as we even set up the independent claims process and will be run by mr. feinburg. ideal -- almost daily with bob dudley, the c.e.o. before that, tony hayward. they know what's expected of them. they by law don't have to acknowledge anything. they are the responsible party. they've been designated that in writing by the coast guard, and that means that they are responsible for all costs associated with this.
so i think the combination of the legal framework around the designation of a responsible party, the intense scrutiny they're under right now, i think we're in a place where they understand their commitment. but we have to understand, too, the federal government has a role here and we have to make sure they comply with the directions that are provided and they meet their responsibilities as well. it's not really well understood but under the oil pollution act of 1990, responsible parties actually a legal designation and both b.p. and transocean have been designated responsible parties in that. failure to comply can result in either civil or criminal penalties. host: margaret in new york on the democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. good morning. thank you. admiral, i am just going to say what everyone else seems to say which is i am very appreciative of how you are taking these questions and i'm always filled with admiration whenever i hear one of our servicemen.
that makes me all but sadder to have to ask you this question because first of all, it seems to me that the dispersent will only make things worse. i'm mott the scientist. i know this question was asked before -- i'm not a scientist. i know the question was asked before. essentially, what's being done is the dispersent is hiding the oil by dispersing it. it's just being added as another tocksant to the gulf. secondly, -- toxant to the gulf. secondly, this may have happened earlier than when you were in the job, i never heard this addressed. b.p. was forbidding the workers to wear masks to protect themselves from the fumes and other effects, and i heard some of them refused and kept wearing the masks. how is it that our government
would not protect our citizens and tell bp, or whoever is responsible, to get out the way, at least, or at best, help them and attacked them? guest: both good questions. let me go to the dispersant issue one more time. both oil and dispersants will biodegrade overtime. the question is how long it takes to degrade. what happens is that the oil is broken out into various fine particles by the dispersant that allows it to degrade more quickly. one of the things we're going to be doing and are doing right now is testing the water column to make sure we know what the implications are. i think what is going to happen as a result of this incident is that there is going to be closer scrutiny, more research done, and obviously, a number of questions have been raised by the public moving forward. you have to understand the
longer term implications of the dispersants. we have a huge example here of dispersants being used and we need to capture all the data we can and we have to adjust the policy moving forward. we can certainly do that. regarding occupational health and safety, let me assure you that we're concerned about the health of the folks working out there. after i became the national incident commander and we knew that we had -- at one point we had over 40,000 people working down there at any particular day. we went to the department of labor and negotiated a memorandum of understanding with the occupational safety and health administration and brought in the national incident command and established standards for exposure, chemicals or whatever, that exceed current regulatory requirements and made personal protective equipment mandatory in the areas where the thresholds were being exceeded. in fact, i have a meeting later this week with the secretary of labor myself to understand how this is moving forward.
we have investigators and inspectors down there to follow up on any event or report on safety. host: democratic line, oklahoma city. caller: good morning. greta, you do a great job. to the admirable, i have a question, as far as the oil, is it still on the surface or is it beneath the surface? if there is oil beneath the surface, what are the ramifications of that? another comment that i have is that i'm surprised where you talk about the tea party. where were they protesting bp? their favorite line is, what about our children and grandchildren? heretofore a committee came to america and might have destroyed the coasts -- here we have a foreign company that came to america and might have destroyed the coast or with the teabaggeers in louisiana and
florida? when the president tries to do something, all of these teabaggers come out. but when we point to the evidence for their children and grandchildren, not a key back -- not a teabagger a round. host: we will move on to the republican line, dallas. caller: i would like to change the subject of it, if i may. there is 15 minutes of explanation or follow up on that i would like to know, if you will, exactly, a deepwater rigs are being transferred overseas, exactly how many, because it is not easy to transfer a rig at all of its people and all of its supplies in that kind of stuff. host: is not part of your -- guest: let me explain the
context. i think what he means is that under the current moratorium, there is not work to do for the rigs and the question is how many of those have moved out of the gulf. i do not know, but under the moratorium they could potentially reach the area. host: are usually seeing that? guest: -- are you visually seeing that? guest: i have not seen that myself. host: next call. caller: thank you, admiral allen, for your service. i actually worked on the oil spill. i saw the damage done. i sought the fishkill. i was curious, how are you -- i saw the fish killed but i was curious, how are you going to deal with the companies that brought in the locals in, and basically, a lot of them have not been paid. there are issues involved. i was wondering how the government is going to deal with
this. i'm concerned for my own health right now. i did not get paid. host: what did you do? caller: i was on a boat near the oil spill. host: are you feeling any health effects? he said you were worried about your health. caller: i have to get my arms checked i felt that if i said i needed the money, i was going to be sent home. guest: thanks for your call. if you are working for a contractor or subcontractor, or working on a vessel opportunity -- i will caller: working for a contractor. -- caller: i was working for a
contractor. guest: there is a way to follow on line. if somebody can do that. we are happy to follow up, sir. host: we will have a producer talk to you, bob. john in san diego. caller: i would like to congratulate the admiral for his competence and the c-span and all of the callers. host: john, did you have a question? caller: not really. i and listening and calling, and there has been a lot of good questions already. they have entered what i was calling about recently. host: admiral, we had a lot of people call up and thank you for your service. assuming you are getting compensated for the work you are doing, can you speak to how you are getting compensated? guest: sure. i am retired from the coast
guard and was hired as the civilian. i worked in secretary napolitano's front office. host: was that a pay decrease, increase? guest: it was an increase. host: obviously, that was not a factor in your decision making. you decided to take part in this wh? y -- why? guest: there were certain competencies' that i could bring to the is. i had certain attachments from the work with hurricane katrina. i knew many of the people down there. it was a pretty compelling picture not to be drawn into. host: new jersey, the key on the republican line. caller: hi, thad allen, how are you? guest: fine.
caller: they had some photographers out there taking pictures of the gulf, that all they had of the oil were the beaks. it was the saddest thing. the use this for photography issues, how bad it was. what about the wells and the fish and all of that? the ocean in these areas are going to be polluted for a very long time. host: marine life. guest: we are very concerned about marine life. it goes beyond that. we have at days and marshes where we have breeding grounds. the brown pelican breeding grounds, southwest louisiana, and other species out there. this is a great avian highway as well. we have marine mammals, turtles that have been impacted.
noaa as part of their responsibility for the national fisheries service the the wildlife, and the rest of it is under the fisheries and wildlife service and the department of interior. we get several organizations involved in this and we have a wildlife recovery station in louisiana. we are doing everything we can to assist these animals when they are located obviously, the oil is diminished now and we are having fewer incidents of wildlife impacted. when they are, we're treating them, and especially the pelicans, taking them to texas and florida and into a habitat that is oil-3. we are keeping track of every single wildlife that is impacted by this. we had statistics so we will be able to understand the long-term impact of this. it is devastating to watch the pictures of the birds with oil on them to i don't think anybody can look at that and not be touched. host: "usa today's" cover story is about the gulf, and they look
at the number of wildlife impacted, as well as the economic costs paid by their figures, the gulf coast region has lost about $1.2 billion in economic output and about 70,000 jobs. you have a comment on that? guest: no, it is obvious when you go down that that the shrimp, the marine years, beachfront operations, the secondary and tertiary affects of this, suppliers and caterers -- it is not only devastating incrementally, but there is a significant socio-economic impact -- not only devastating environmentally, but there is a significant socio-economic impact. host: a couple more calls for you, sir. democratic line. caller: good morning, admiral. i called c-span and tom martin's show one day before you came out with the cure for the leak
of attaching to the flange. now, i worked on refinery, and it is a very basic thing. it is not rocket science. a flange is a way of attaching a piped to a pike it why, with all the expertise you had your disposal, did no one come up with caulking to the flange, which is what you ended up doing -- hooking the flange, which is what you ended up doing -- i consider this criminal. it is so basic that it is actual criminal not to have somebody sitting there and looking at the same flange i wasn't saying, hey, we can attach the flange. guest: that is a completely legitimate question. i have had a lot of folks ask me that same question. the area on the top of the pipe that allows you to bolt --
those are called flanges. use all the pipes that had been over the leak. we used remotely operated vehicles to unbolt the right to pipe from the flange and insert this grueling tool -- the spooling tool. he was absolutely correct, it is simple to install a flange, but it is difficult to do it at 5000 feet. the only way to do is to or of the cameras -- rov -- through rov cameras. we know now that summer i 53,000 -- where about 53,000 barrels a day was coming out of that. you have to have a good idea of what happens when it comes off. the capping stack itself had
been designed and built and tested and brought to the sea -- had to be design and build a test and brought to the secret is an absolutely legitimate question. host: last phone call. caller: good morning, commander allen, and lady. the coast guard did a really fabulous job. i've got to admit, those people did a great job and they don't need no stinking permission for us to go anywhere. it is great how you guys react. my question is, we are pretty close to the sea in new england, so you have to feel for those people in the coast. it is quite a mess. my question to you, commander, what are you going to do if well number 26 blows out tomorrow? guest: well, you raise a great question. first of all, thank you for the culprit from 1993 to 1996, i was
-- thank you for the call. fo 1996 -- from 1993 to 1996, i was a captain at a port in new england. we have got together and put together a response technologies we would use in such an event. the framework in this country was largely created after the exxon valdez when it was a preoccupation with tankers. certificates of the financial responsibility would allow companies to have the wherewithal to do these responses. in the meantime, the technology moving offshore basically outstripped the response community. technology has been brought to the sea to deal with the control of this well and is probably a precursor to what we will see in the future. the oil production in the gulf is done by wells that are on the bottom and the oil is
transferred to ships, discover enterprise, or piped to shore for piping systems. the containment systems were used out there were brought from the north sea and off of angola, where they have a much different production structure that has to do with things that are more flexible and mobile and can be disconnected and put back together again. i think the responses you will see in the future, where ec drilling and oil containment, will contain the basic elements of what you have seen it designed and built bp the partners as they try to control this well. host: the potential risk of another blow out -- the front page of "the new york times" shows that the rig owner at safety issues with three other wells. guest: i would like to focus on the response itself. the investigation is being done by the department of interior
and homeland security and our other investigations going on to what i am trying to focus on is if you have and that is, what are the response capabilities unique, what did we have that we had to bring to bear to stop this problem, and how to that in for us in the future? host: what did you not have? guest: we did not have access to the wellhead, and it was an assumption that the plot to enter -- the blowout preventers or fail-safe. we have to do with an uncontrolled well that it deep inin the ocean, and the >> just a reminder. c-span has a special page with all of the coverage about the gulf of mexico oil spill. there are congressional hearings in washington, d.c. and field hearings in louisiana. you'll find it all at c-
span.org.oilspill. >> we cannot go around expecting double dealing and crookery. you cannot run a democracy like this within the kind of satisfaction in the absence of basic justice and honor. >> watch this interview with the court term, pipe smoking, model, fashion editor, and outspoken congresswoman. it is part of a treasury of people and events of the past. it is washington is your way. "book tv" has been finding out about the new books coming out this fall. >> jimmy carter wrote in his journal every day of his presidency.
this is an intimate look at his white house years. this is super top-secret. it is bob woodward. almost anything bob does is meaningful. this is for sure going to be one of the biggest fall titles around. this is not a sweeping memoir by george bush. it is talking about the specific points in his administration where he had to make major decisions. >> learn more in our 2010 fall book preview this weekend. for the latest in nonfiction authors and books, watch every weekend. get the full schedule at booktv.org. >> politics, books, and history -- available anytime on c-span radio in the washington area at 90.1 fm, nationwide on serious channel 132, and on your iphone and i pad, on loan -- on-line
around the world. listen to your phone with a partnership with audio now. it is available any time. just call the number on your screen. it is free, but check with your phone service provider for additional charges. c-span radio -- even more available on your phone. >> president obama said today that his administration will help ford motor company export more than 200,000 vehicles by giving the company a loan guarantee. those remarks came at a ford plant in the president's hometown of chicago. this is almost 25 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states. [applause]
it is wonderful to be here. there are a couple of special events i want to mention before we get started. give it up for her. we have one of the finest mares in the country, mayor richard daley. our treasurer and soon to be united states senator. [applause] a number of afghani -- a number of members of congress to have been supportive of the auto industry. congressman bobby rush, congressman danny davis, congresswoman [unintelligible]
we have fred hockburg, chairman of the export and import bank that is going to help sell these outstanding cars in the united states. [applause] your own president, mark fields, is in the house. give it up. [applause] it is good to be back in chicago. [applause] it is good to see some friendly faces and to be back in the old neighborhood. [applause] thank you. i have gotten a little more gray hair since i was last out here. but it is wonderful to be back home. do not get me wrong. the white house is nice, and
i've got a really short commute from my office to the house. i do not have to drive so far. and there is no greater honor than being a president. but let me tell you, there is nothing like coming home, especially when your home in chicago. [applause] i just had a chance to tour this extraordinary plant to see the great work that you are doing here. i notice that market and everybody put all of the fans in front for me to meet. -- the white sox fans in front for me to meet. i did not see a lot of cubs guys on the line. or cardinals fans. [booing]
but this plant has a remarkable history. henry ford built it. henry ford built this plant. the built in 1924 to manufacture the model t. when the great depression struck and 25 ford plants closed down, this one stayed open. [applause] when world war ii was raging, this plant was churning out armored vehicles that helped make victory possible. in the 1990's, workers at this plant built the best selling car in america five years in a row. [applause] so this plant is part of american history. for nearly nine decades, this plant has been the backbone of
its community. there are workers here whose fathers worked on this line. i just met one while i was on my way over here. his father's father worked on this line. this plant, like the entire industry, has been a source of deep pride for generations of american workers whose imaginations and hard work led to some of the finest cars the world has ever known, and whose sweat helped build up the middle class that lifted up the dreams of millions of people all across america. [applause] this plant has stood through the good times, when the american auto industry ruled the ball -- ruled the world, and in the not good times, when the future of the auto industry was in doubt. we have seen some of those doubts in recent years. the year before i took office,
this industry lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. sales plunged 40%. when the financial crisis hit and this great recession had, that collided with an industry that for a long time had put off hard choices. it put off adapting to changing times. we had to face a hard, unimaginable reality. two of the big three automakers, gm and chrysler, or on the brink of liquidation. if that had happened, more than 1 million jobs could of been lost. that would of been a devastating blow to the entire economy. ford was in better financial shape and was able to weather the storm without federal assistance. [applause]
that is a testament to the hard work you all do, and the choices this company made. but i do not have to tell you -- your ceo says this publicly. if you're a temperatures had gone down, they would have taken down a whole bunch of the suppliers you depend on. -- if your competitors had gone down, they would have taken down a bunch of the suppliers to depend on. that would have had severe consequences for the board. that was the challenge we faced -- and industry on the brink. there were a lot of folks who were ready to bite off the american auto industry, who thought we should just walk away from it. some still think that today. but you know what? that is not how we build a better future. that is not how you build a better america. we do not give up. the united states always
competes. that is what we do. that is what we are doing with the u.s. auto industry. [applause] so i refuse to walk away from this industry and american jobs. i have put my faith in the american worker. i believe the american worker is the best worker in the world. [applause] if we are willing to work hard together and we build and sacrifice in the short term, it would mean a new beginning for a great american industry. if we could just get a sense of common purpose, we could once again make the best cars in the world -- designed, engineered right here in chicago, right here in the midwest, right here in the united states of america. [applause] i tell you what.
i stood with workers at a gm work. i have stood with workers at a chrysler plant. today, i am standing with workers at a ford plant. [applause] i have put my money on the american worker. i have placed my bets on the american worker and the day of the week. because of your efforts and the sacrifices that have been made across this industry over the past year, this industry has grown stronger, creating new jobs and manufacturing the fuel efficient cars and trucks the will carry america towards energy independence. . .
plants will not exist without the sacrifices are running at max or near-full capacity. this plant is shifting into higher gear. what i said last year was an american automobile makers were willing to make the tough choices to make them more competitive in the future, america would stand by them and the one thing we did was put in place a new fuel efficiency standard for all new cars and trucks sold in america. this was good for consumers. it was good for the environment.
it finally gave out lawmakers the certainty they needed to plan for the future, a future where we build 21st century cars that the world want to buy. ford dedicated itself to increasing fuel efficiency of more than one dozen of its kind. ford used the loan to retool this factory to build the next generation of explorer. [cheers and applause] that is a model that will be up to 30% more fuel-efficient. my most recent car was a ford. [cheers and applause] i had one of the ford escapes. i have to estimate that i bought
it about two months before i got secret service. they would not let me drive it anymore. it only had 2,000 miles after five years. i really enjoyed this 2,000 miles. i just that in that explore. that is an outstanding car. over the next two months, this plant will bring on a second shift of 1200 workers to build that explore, nearly doubling your workforce. [applause] that is not as good for this plant, that is good for chicago heights, it is good for the supplier who are investing in new facilities and adding shifts and hiring more than 600 workers in illinois, indiana, and michigan. it is good for the entire community. it is good for the city. it is good for the state.
ford is committed to selling more of the cars you built around the world including the explorer that you manufacture right here. today to support those efforts my administration is announcing a new tool and $50 million export/import bank loan guarantee for ford. [cheers] frowhat this does is it helps fd export more than 200,000 cars and trucks overseas. that means more production and more manufacturing jobs right here in the united states of america. it is going to help us reach the
goal. we are going to double americans exports of goods and services over the next five years. we are tired of buying from everyone else. we want to start selling. that is how we are going to grow our economy. that is how we are good to support millions of good jobs for american workers to do what they have always done, build a great product and sell them around the world. our workers can compete with anybody. chicago, here is the bottom line. we still have a long way to go. we have gone through a difficult time. it is not back to where it needs to be. our economy is not where a need
to be. we are beginning to see our efforts pay off. we are headed in the right direction. the industries on the way to being number one again. i am convinced we will rebuild not only auto industry but the economy that your insurance with them before. it will be made in america. they said that investing in new would guarantee failure who said we should just walk away from the industry, who said that
denny by america's automakers was "the worst investment you could make." who tried to block is that every turn. i wish there were standing here today and saw what i see. i wish they could see the pride you face in building these cars. my message to them is, do not bet against the american worker. do not lose faith in the american people. two of its faith in the american industry. we are coming back. -- do not lose faith in the american industry. we are coming back. a few weeks before i visited the chrysler plant, i went to one a few weeks before 14 employees had won the lottery. when they want, everyone thought they would go kasten and kick back and retire. nobody would have blamed them from that. most them are not retiring.
the worker went out and bought for his wife one of the new cars that is being made in that plant. then he went out and bought american flags for his hometown. he is proud of this country. he keeps on showing up to work every single day because he is proud of his job. that is the character of america, proud of your job, proud of your community, proud of your country, prodded the company you work for. that is what ford is about. that is what you are about. that is what chicago is about. that is what illinois is about. that is what the united states of america is about. where coming back. thank you very much, every blbody. god bless america offha.
elena kagan to be on the u.s. supreme court. five republicans voted for the confirmation. only one democrat voted against the dollar today in chicago, president obama made a brief remarks about the confirmation of the high court and a 12th justice. this is under five minutes. >> i am very pleased that the senate hashes voted to confirm elena kagan as the nation's 112th supreme court justice. eyeleted think the judiciary committee to i want to thank the judiciary committee for giving her a timely hearing. of the past month amid the committee has scrutinize her record as a scholar, a law school dean, presidential adviser, and as solicitor general.
after 17 hours of testimony, i would say they got a pretty good look at elena kagan. they got a sense of a formidable intelligence, rich understanding of our constitution, commitment to the rule of law, and her irreverent sense of humor. they have come to understand why she has earned the respect and admiration of votes from across the political spectrum it is an achievement reflected in today's bipartisan vote. it is not just an affirmation of their intellect and accomplishments. it was an affirmation of her character and temperament. her determination to hear all sides of every story to consider all possible arguments. she understands that the law is not just an abstraction or an intellectual exercise. she knows that the decisions
should not just the character of our democracy but the circumstances of our daily lives. behind the law, there are stories of people's lives as shaped by the law, of people's lives as it might be changed by the law. i'm confident that elena kagan will make an austin supreme court justice. i am proud of the history we are making with her appointment. for nearly two centuries, there was not a single woman on the nation's highest court. for the first time in our history, there will be three. it is one of the most exhilarating development, a sign of progress, but i relish is not as a father who once lived as possibilities -- limitless possibilities for our daughters, but hoping our supreme court will be more representative and reflective of us as a people
that ever before. thank you very much, everybody. \ >> now discussion on political leaders and how their decisions and have policies in u.s. government for th. . >> "washington journal" continues. host: rich lowry, editor of "national review" to talk about the conservative agenda. the midterm elections, some saying it is highly competitive. republicans may take back control of the house and maybe the senate. and it is going to be one of the most expensive. how deep the republicans are bearing right now. guest: i think if it were held today it would be a massive, historic blow out. we will see if that holds. the key indicators, perhaps the most important is the president's approval rating. "usa today" gallup poll, really scraping bottom for him.
if you just take averages, a better indicator, he is still upper to mid 40's, very much in the red zone, and you look at the economy with unemployment above 9%, you look of the status of washington and congress in particular, 11% approve of congress. they are down to relatives, paid staff and trial lawyers, i think at that point. and did things as a blowout is growing. whether the environment changes to radically or something happened to change it before november is an unknown, but if it were held today i think it would be 1994 probably plus some. host: what issues do you think could turn it around for democrats? guest: i do not think there is really any issue. that is the problem. it is really a reaction against the agenda that they pushed, which i don't think president obama was particularly forthright about on the campaign trail and it has come as a shock to people, what they have
gotten from this administration and from this congress. he ran as a sort of a winsome, moderate-sounding guy and instead, every way possible, has pushed the growth of the federal government as much as he can. you have some of left saying we did not give the public option, things of that nature, but the health care bill, for instance, it was as left most as plausible. the reason why they did not get the public option, it was not possible to push through congress to give a push the the system -- unless something changes, i am thinking some external event or some unimaginable republican meltdown, a joe barton comment apologizing to bp times 10 is going to be hard to see how the democrats could turn it round. it's got a lot of the passion on the right is coming from the tea party movement -- host: a lot of the passion on the right is coming from the tea party movement.
but we heard one member calling this morning saying he is not crazy about republicans, either. he plans to vote because it thinks it is is his responsibility but not crazy about voting for republicans and putting them back in power. how do republicans tried to harness that passion and get them to vote for them? you saw that in the missouri race, the primary race on tuesday. roy blunt, not a favorite of the tea party movement but yet was able to win. guest: a couple of things going on. one -- a part of the great usefulness of the tea party movement is it is another vehicle for limited government conservatism that is separate from the republican brand, which is a very helpful thing because the republican brand has not yet recovered. the democrats covered themselves, looking at these polls when the republican party standing is still quite low. i remember doing the same thing in 2006. i would look at the terrible
members of the republicans in congress and look at the numbers of the democrats and say, they are not doing so well, either. and this is not just a referendum, it is a choice, etcetera, etcetera. but at the end of the day when people are sick of the status quo in washington, it is the party that is in control that is going to pay the price. host: let us go back to the first part of the statement. you said the tea party movement helps republicans. guest: it helps limited government conservatism. it is a vehicle for that conservatism that is not the republican party, that is different from the republican party, at the time the republican party's standing is still quite low. host: there is a pew research poll part of "the national journal" cover story about the tea party. the headline is tea party paradox. what helps republicans now could hurt them later in two -- heard them later. inside, it goes to this pupil --
over the last decade the public has grown more conservative but less republican. guest: that would parallel what i was saying but i was not thinking of the longer-term trend, which is interesting. the other broader trend, opinion that has been remarked over the past 18 months is just on every single measure -- a lot of them having to do with the economy and spending, understandably, given what we have seen in washington -- but on everything else -- a gun rights, abortion -- there has been this surge of conservative opinion. whereas in some of the questions you get some of the most conservative answers you got never. -- you have gotten ever. we are a center-right country, a cliche, but as our respects, true, but a lot of the center- right sentiment was depressed at the end of the bush administration because he was so unpopular and proceed to be so incompetent and once he was gone and began to be forgotten a bit, you have seen the sentiment bouncing back and you have a huge mismatch.
you have that sense of a bouncing back, at the same time you have these historic democrat majorities in congress that partly product -- this is how elections go, so i am not whining -- partly a product of just the timing of the financial crisis where everything was exactly right to inflate those democratic majorities to have subsequently gone on an ideological bent of that run exactly counter to the way public opinion is running. host: "the national journal" says this -- the very forces leading to the republican surge in 2010 may be a painful dilemma for the gop thereafter. the tea party movement just a leading indicator -- the rise of the de-branded republican. what is the brand of the republicans, or what should it be? guest: i think it should be the sober limited government party. the party of responsibility. not just in government, but in
reporting responsibility at a personal level -- promoting responsibility at a personal level of people out there, promoting the virtues of self- reliance and orderliness. i would like to see a limited- government conservatism that has an added mixture of league isn't in the 19th century -- abraham lincoln, the great whig before he was a republican. it is hard to go back to the 19th century and match up the whigs and democrats today -- but aspect of them that i like is middle-class values and the real emphasis on economic aspirations. and to the extent that you are going to have government action, if you want it to the government action that promotes individual initiative and makes it easier for people to rise economically within our society. host: one of your recent pieces dubbed the attack of the adults, you pointed to two republicans that you think represents the
future of the party. guest: mitch daniels and chris christie. chris christie has just been extraordinary. to go into new jersey, the state outside of perhaps california or illinois, that has been the most mis-governor did recent years and has the most powerful public sector political complex, and to go in and balance the budget when he has and has been able to bring trenton to heal and the teachers' union, extremely powerful, to heal, in six months, is just an extraordinary accomplishment. mitch daniels, also extremely impressive. circumstances much less dire. he did not take office in the midst of a budgetary crisis, but also, like christie, have build a constituency for a limited government conservative than -- conservatism. has slimmed down the budget.
and daniels tells his people all the time, we have one goal -- we want to increase the net the pole -- disposable income of the hoosiers in here in indiana. i would get some complaints now. i did see the movie. that is going to be the goal of government. i think that is a very good -- i think republicans nationally can take that admonition to heart. host: karl rove rights in today's "wall street journal." echo in the comments about change being seen on the gubernatorial level. tallahassee, florida. it dawned on independent line. caller: thank you four mccall and good morning -- thank you for taking my call, and good morning. i have a financial issue that has been on my mind as of late regarding both parties. i am an independent. i have no party affiliation. as of late, it seems that
republicans and conservatives both have been drumming against the spending that has been going on by the obama administration. but basically saying none of this stuff has been paid for. i just don't understand how they could say that went under the bush administration, mainly the iraq war, that was not paid for and was run up on the credit. i want to get your guest opinions on how you can't reconcile the spending that went -- how you can reconcile the spending that went on during a republican administration while drumming against the spending going on under the obama administration. thank you. guest: entirely fair question obviously. the thing about hypocrisy is it works both ways. if the bush administration deficit spending was bad, there is no reason the democrats would want to do it on a different order of magnitude, which they
have. we are not a fan at the national review of bush's fiscal management. but if you look at the deficit, i believe, in 2007 -- don't take this to the bank -- but something on the order of a couple hundred billion dollars. it was nothing on the order of what we are seeing now. it's supposedly is not working and practiced. no one feels it working and practiced. and i think it's time to admit it was a failure and to begin to adopt it, a prudent program of as you taret. host: under that tenure, though, some of the republican leader who are in power now were in power then when they controlled the house and senate and they approved president
bush's fiscal plans. and so does it concern you at all that when voters are going to the polls and they look to see who might be back in charge, are they going to see the same faces, that might be minority leader john boehner and mitch mcconnell? guest: great. to cut spending and they forgot that part of the mission and that's one of the reasons they destroyed themselves and their majority. there are a lot of others, the unpopularity of the iraq war, the sense of corruption, the sense of incompetence in the bush administration. but that they got away from that core part of their brand. host: well, then, are you calling for new leadership? guest: well, i think in you attitudes certainly. and i think, i hope that some of these guys have gotten the message.
i think they realize how significant the tea party is and that they need to get the message from the tea party. i think initially there was a lot of fearfulness and misunderstanding not knowing what it was about. the tea party is an extraordinary thing. it's a grassroots movement that is -- represents a great burst of constitutionalism in this country that just would have been unimaginable two years ago. i think the republican party needs to listen to what the tea party's saying. host: let's go to the republican line. john in boston, you're on the air. caller: hey, rich, the massachusetts people are moving up this way. anyhow, let me ask you about why are we giving these zillions of dollars to the states, just to give the unions
money? guest: it's part of it. again, it's a knee jerk theory that spending creates growth and if you don't do the spending there will be massive layoffs of teachers and this will depress the economy. and i think instead states should take a co-2 from indiana, from -- could you from indiana, from -- cue from indiana, from new jersey. they said we need to move to a private sector driffer economy. we need to stop the spending, let the states that have been prove will he gait, take their medicine, tighten up their belts. host: with the economy on certain grounds as federal reserve ben bernanke has said that right now is not the time to cut back? guest: well, i think the fed -- i kind of agree with christina romer. she stated back then, if you need stimulus to deal with the investigation, it's much better
to do it with monetary policy than fiscal policy. i think a lot of those reasons have been born out. one, it's slow to get through the pipeline. two, it's likely to be inefficient. is it really the fact that state-level education departments are the prime driver of the american economy? and if they have to cut back at all we will have to teeter back on the edge of depression? i just don't believe it. as the caller mentions, there is a lot of democratic constituencies in play here. what they want to do in any circumstance is shower money on them and this is just a good excuse to do it. host: veronica on the democratic line from california. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. you know, i truly listen to my friend there, my brother there. when he's saying we need an attitude change, that's a
real-life thing. we people in america we have been allowed to be blinded, i mean, totally blinded. we will go through our republican sisters and brothers. all of the ethnic wars towards one another, hatred toward one another, greed, greed, greed. it's all i, i, i. the republicans say i have a business. you have a business because you have to have good health, strength and get -- is it worth it? think if you didn't have that health. you would be out here just like everybody else. what we're supposed to be doing, sir, take care of the poor, take care of the children. host: let's get a response. guest: well, i would say in response to my sister that obviously we need some minimal safety net for people who can't take care of themselves or who are in truly dire circumstances. i don't think anyone argues that.
what we're dealing with in washington lately is -- or for a long time is just massive government activism that goes well beyond that. and what you want to do is create and environment that is condusive to entrepreneurs taking risks. you know, these are people that might start a business on their own. credit cards who are putting it on the line because they might have an idea that might work. you want to do everything you can to encourage them rather than to scare them and make them worry about what other unforeseen expenses might be coming down on their heads in the future very soon, whether it's taxes or new regulations. so i think that's the key constituency. obama should have always been thinking about in everything he did with regard to the economy. instead, all those entrepreneurs have been the forgotten end, to use a phrase from the depression. host: we are talking to rich
lowry from "national review." you can go to twitter at twitter.com/cspanwj. here is a tweet. the republicans don't dare revert to their big spending ways with the tea party breathing down their next. jim on the republican line. caller: can you hear me? host: go ahead, jim. caller: i am still a registered republican. however, i don't intend at this time to support the republican party any more unless -- again, this is bage unless -- you talked about it. i heard a couple of people calling this morning talking about it already. we are waiting for the so-called leadership of the republican party to put together another contract with america-style program that they can put out here that people
can get their hands on, they can read, they can discuss it among themselves, they can look at it. for instance, start with the economy, one. jobs. ok. the government doesn't create jobs, right? ok. well, then what are you going to do to ensure that we have a flourishing free market in our society? we are waiting for concrete things. i listened to so-called leader boehner -- i'm starting to get emotional. i have to calm down. i listened to him on one of the sunday shows sunday and he basically -- oh, i got so upset. he sat there and went through all of the republican talking points. the same old crap that millions of americans out here are sick of hearing. host: jim. caller: we want something concrete. host: jim, if republicans take over, should john boehner be
the house speaker? jim, are you with me? i lost him. all right. guest: the reaction is probably no, i'm guessing. jim's right. they are trying to come up with a contract document. there is pressure from within the republican caucus and especially from republican consultants on the outside not to do anything. not to put forward any sort of agenda because you're only -- the theory is the only target to shoot at at the same time they're sinking very much of their own. we think that would be a mistake. it's important to put a substantive agenda out there. i don't think this is what they would endorse but something on the order of focusing in on spending which the republicans have complained about so much. you know, commitment to get back to -- and i don't think this would strike people as radical -- fiscal year 2008 levels of spending. i would roll back the
obamacare, which is $1 trillion in spending which is supposedly paid for, although very -- everyone is very dubious about that. and then theres about $500 billion of medicare cuts. i would use that kitty of money to explore some real reforms of medicare. not to do the kind of -- they have meat axe style kind of providers in that health care bill. instead, trying to stoke some competition within medicare. but you do all that and to me that's a serious step towards a more responsible fiscal policy. host: all right. let's go to paul in kitty hawk, north carolina. independent line. good morning, paul. caller: yes, good morning. thank you for taking my call. the caller said before me stole a little bit of my thunder, i guess my main question to your guest is -- what specific programs would he cut?
would he cut spending for the war? would he cut national security, social security? i hear a lot of republicans -- and i understand their frustration. i understand they're the party out of power, but i hear a lot of talking in generalizations about cutting this and cutting that and responsibility. i guess my question is -- when and what are the republicans' specific answer to saving this money? what programs are they going to cut? you know, it's easy to talk in generalization. i guess what i'm asking is -- host: all right, paul, we'll get some specific recommendations there. guest: i am not prepared to go to the budget line by line. if you go to fiscal year 2008 levels that would be a quite sizeable percentage cut that i would be perfectly comfortable applying to most every domestic
program. and if you repeal the obamacare and captured those medicare reductions i think that would be another big chunk. host: erie, pennsylvania, harold, republican line. caller: how is everybody at c-span and mr. lowry? how are you doing? guest: how you doing? caller: i am doing fine. i am the republican party. the democratic party is the yes, yes, yes, yes, yes party. if i can remember right, i think it was the first couple weeks when obama took charge when they had the first republican-democrat meeting one of the republicans brought up something and president obama -- i respect the president's sitting, he said, i'm in charge now. and that's exactly what happened. he's in charge. the democrats are in charge. the democrats have been in charge for four years, not 10
years. i mean, not -- the republicans for six years. the democrats have been in charge for four years now. they haven't done anything they said they were going to do. they had the majority then and they have the majority now. and as far as i'm concerned, the subject that was covered earlier today, the teachers and the unions and that, the unions are the ones that are benefiting from this. the children aren't benefiting because the educational system has been a failure for the last 30, 40 years. and it's getting worse and worse every day. some of that money will go to the educational center in washington, d.c. some of the states will get up maybe a third of that income. host: all right, harold, we'll
go on to marry -- mary on the democratic line from michigan. caller: unfortunately i think i'm wasting my call. the prior answer by mr. lowry was so ridiculous. i just find it amazing that he could answer that the budget cuts should be according to the 2008 situation. i read columns and they actually, republican economists actually criticized their own economic policies over the last 30 years. and admit that they have been totally wrong, that they have only practiced tax cutting. so that as they kept cutting
services and programs to the people they've created a situation where we are destroying -- and, also, they're admitting that the deregulation has caused such an imbalance that it's created the wages of working people to be at the purchasing power at the middle 1970's whereas the rich got richer by 300 times as much as the 1970's. host: rich lowry. guest: ok. so there is a lot to take on there. i didn't find that op-ed she referred to particularly persuasive. i think the main thing that happened that created the housing bubble and the financial crisis when it burst was that the fed was too loose for too long and it pumped a bunch of excess liquidity into the system, and when you have that happen you will see
malinvestment. on top of that you have every single instrument that the federal government had as disposal used to pump up homeownership as well. and to kind of lower underwriting standards and to get as many people mortgages, whether they're able, really, able to afford them or not and it created a catastrophic bubble that we're still paying the price for. and i don't think that was republican fiscal policy. and in fact the fact that you had the bush administration, republicans, arguing that at least one aspect of this problem, fannie and freddie, had to be better regulated. and you had "the wall street journal" editorial page constantly banging the drum on fannie and freddie warning they were a potential disaster to come and we faced that dast -- disaster. and i think barack obama was
producing a reaganite policy we would be in a better way. and he had a recession. and we knew that taxes were going to go down, regulation was going to go down, inflation was going to go down, interest rates were going to go down. we know one of those things now. in fact, the opposite. so we are storing up trouble for the future. and a lot of obama policy, cash for clunkers is the signature initiative, are based on stealing demands from the future to try to get it into the present for a band-aid on present demand. and that's obviously just by definition a short-sighted policy. host: the "financial times" is saying that president george w. bush saying his fourth coming memoirs decision points that the self-dubbed decider took in office be put back until after the midterm elections.
do you think that's a good decision for republicans? guest: that's interesting. well, i wasn't aware of this. first of -- i heard of it. anything that reminds george w. bush at the moment is not helpful to americans. they're probably glad of that. i think history will vindicate him in certain important respects. with regard to iraq, assuming that it turns out and they actually form a government. but the -- his decision to undertake the surge was extremely important one, teamly brave one. excuse me. host: let me get you a drink of water and we'll go to phone calls. oklahoma city, scott, republican line. go ahead. caller: yes, gretta, i appreciate your shown and i appreciate mr. lowry to come on saying what he's saying. i agree with a lot of what he's saying. as a -- a guy i was working for, "the national review,"
he's a neo-conservative, as is william f. buckley, the founder of it. and i just heard something that i had to comment on because it shows how so-called conservatives have drifted and become something other than constitutional when he was talking about safety nets in that we need to have safety nets. well, that's something that was -- that's been advocated only recently by those who call themselves conservatives. as a john burke society member i am aware that article 1, section 8 of the constitution that gives all 17 powers to congress that they have doesn't mention anything about safety nets. and here we are even justifying giving money away to foreign regimes, you know, governments, that we didn't used to talk about. and republicans are just much doing that as anybody else. my own congressman, tom cole, is very much responsible for
handing out free money to foreign regimes. and it's totally unconstitutional, which we had a change of heart in which those that call themselves conservative call themselves constitutional. that's why the tea party is as strong as it is. host: your thought. guest: a lot in that thought. i am not a neo-conservative. you can look at the various definition of neo-conservative and they don't match bill buckley in the least. he wasn't a convert to conservatism in the 1970's in the way that a lot of neo-conserve tists were. he wasn't part of democracy abroad. in fact, he was famously skeptic on the iraq war. something that was -- we parted
ways on. so wasn't a neo-conservative. that's wrong. i think if you get back to the vision of the constitution where we have no foreign aid, i think that's quite a radical proposition. we've always had to have as a country a robust foreign policy abroad. and look no further than thomas jefferson whose constitutional scrupeles, i don't think anyone can question, he waged war on the barbary pirates and took the louisiana purchase. both of things he thought in the context of the day couldn't be strictly justified under the constitution in the most radcally strict construction -- radically strict construction but he realized was necessary to the national interest and the growth of the country. so even jefferson came to have a more flexible interpretation of the constitution than that
absolute straitjacket that the caller's invoking. host: "the hill" newspaper this morning had this headline is chairman waxman sees a bright side to november losses. the november elections will likely weed out some of the most difficult democrats that leadership lawmakers have dealt with this congress. in an interview with "the hill," the ners committee chairman expressed -- energy and commerce committee chairman expressed confidence that democrats will control the house and expressed some that won't be here next year. chad on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, rich. guest: hi, there. caller: i'm an independent here in michigan. and there's a lot of talk about independents and what that means. i kind of wanted to talk about this idea that -- of the narrative. i think what mr. lowry is perpetuating and what the
republicans, the conservative, the new label, has certainly benefited from for quite a number of years is the power of the narrative. and early on in the program mr. lowry talked about what he conceived the typical conservative. austere and sober individual. you know, laying out just the cold, hard facts as they are. however, you know, the facts of history have never born this conception of republicanism or conservatism out. when you look at some of the charts through the years you'll see that actually -- you talked about the reagan conservatism. the deficit has actually grown. and i think this kind of speaks to this concept that has been talked about, starving the beast and this notion that
during republican times they raised spending on defense which is hard to argue against. it really against. and they talk about cutting taxes. again, very difficult to argue again. then that puts then the following democratic administration's kind of in a jam where they're put in position rhetorically and sometimes financially to have to cut the very things that speak to their identity as democrats. it's very clever but i think this narrative, this idea of a narrative is so powerful that the narrative that the conservatives, the republicans perpetrate overwhelm the facts. we see the effects of that. i'm rather dubious as to whether it will work this year. i guess i'd like to hear mr. lowry speak to this, the idea that the narrative is powerful but the idea that you actually have to have democrats around so you can live like republicans. host: chad is an independent caller from michigan. go ahead.
guest: well, those are very interesting points. one, i think the caller is right in what he's saying impolice italy, starving the beast does not work. it's failed as a theory. the beast is of tooth and claw and is eating everything in sight. i will say a couple of things. one, republicans have not been great fiscal stewards, certainly during the bush administration, but the obama administration is taking spending up to an entirely different level. you know, 25% of g.d.p., you know, up to the highest levels it's been since world war ii. even if you didn't like the way republicans handled the budget in the last decade or so, that doesn't mean you have to sit back and take spending at that amazing rate. two, let's not forget that newt
gingrich and dick army and those elected in 1994 -- armey and those elected in 1994, and i say it, extremely hard on the deficit. they basically went on a suicide march to balance the budget. bill clinton resisted them, beat the heck out of them politically and the fight over the government shut down and eventually there was a settlement subsequently. and if you look at that period, federal spending did grow at a very slow rate and it helped balance the budget. of course, the ultimate thing that balanced the budget was robust economic growth, and this is where reagan had that -- there's that great line that people like to quote. he said the deficit is big enough to take care of itself. if you actually sue pro-growth policies and keep the spending basically under control and the economy grows, you will get more revenue and you will over time be able to balance the budget.
and that's exactly what happened in the 1990's. unfortunately, now we have a massive geyser of red ink coming. we have policies in my mind might as well be consciously designed to suppress growth. that's certainly going to be their effect over time and a combination of those two is disastrous. host: here is e.j. young's column this morning. is the g.o.p. shedding a birthright? he said, rather than shout, i'll ask the question in a civil way. dear republicans, do you really want to endanger your party's greatest political legacy by turning the 14th amendment to our constitution into an excuse for election-year ugly? and he quotes lindsey graham in here which he calls the nation's most reasonable conservative. putting forth the idea that you amend the 14th amendment. he says, drop a child snow can a strong believer in the right to life use such a phrase? guest: i've read that column. one of the things i thought was notable about it, e.j. does not
engage at all on the legal merits of the question. i think folks who argue the 14th amendment was never intended to have this effect where the children of people who are here illyly who really aren't under the jurisdiction the phrase in the 14th amendment of the united states become citizens. so on the legal merits i think folks like lindsey graham are absolutely right. the question becomes a political one. is this really a fight you want to wage? how important it will be on the effect of legal immigration i think will be negligentable. i think people that come here to emergency rooms to have children is just ridiculous. it probably happens but it's a very few number of people. the main thing is the jobs magnet. and, two, you know, how is it going to play politically given that negliable effect.
you know, the initial polls -- host: republicans? guest: yes. the initial polls show that people oppose illegal immigrants having children who are citizens here. but i just think the effect on the latino community, the effect over time, the monkey with the 14th amendment will not play well. and it's just not the main issue. the main issue is enforcement. i support any reasonable measure towards a real enforcement regime. i think what arizona is doing is absolutely correct and unasailable and john bolton's decision on putting on hold that law was absolutely ridiculous. but i don't think, and i haven't thought about this a great deal so i reserve the right to change my mind, i don't think going this 14th amendment route would make sense. host: one last phone call. richard on the republican line from crarls bad. make it quick.
caller: do you believe that social security, the retirement age would have to be increased and the benefits reduced in order to extend full equality to same-sex couples? guest: i don't think i get that connection. do you? host: no. sorry. do you want to weigh in on raising -- guest: every c-span experience you have to be flummed by one call. host: do you think they should raise the social security age to tackle the deficit? guest: absolutely. host: what do you think about medicare? guest: it will have to be scaled back as well. my colleague, james capretta, wrote extensively of how the payment structure system in medicare not only drives up costs in medicare it drives up costs across the health care system because it's so -- medicare is so influential within that system. and this is what i was frying to talk about a little earlier.
taking the savings that democrats have endorsed in medicare and use it to try to reform the system. can i address the henry waxman thing? host: really quick. guest: that is really insane. what he's saying, the troublesome members, i'm assuming he's talking more moderate members of the democratic caucus. these are what nancy pelosi talked about as majority makers. here you have a very liberal guy and a very safe seat saying see you later, guys. >> it has come as close to being very religious issue is anything else. >> hit the send a battle for the marines and politicians to build would kill thrc